A man who illegally possessed guns was sentenced January 27 to more than six years in federal prison.

Christopher Johnson, 45, from Dayton, received the prison term after an October 17, 2019, guilty plea to possession of firearms by a felon. Johnson was previously convicted of manufacture of methamphetamine and/or possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, a felony, in August of 2001, in Boone County.

At the guilty plea hearing, Johnson admitted that on May 28, 2017, in Webster County, law enforcement officers were dispatched to a residence in Dayton on reports of a suspicious person (later identified as Johnson) at the residence possibly stalking the female occupant. Law enforcement officers located Johnson nearby (at a residence where Johnson was known to reside) in a barn. Law enforcement officers located and seized two guns, namely a Ruger .22 caliber pistol and a Jimenez Arms .22 caliber pistol, along with some .22 caliber ammunition from Johnson. Johnson was previously convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon (chainsaw), an aggravated misdemeanor, in 2012, in Calhoun County.

Johnson was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Johnson was sentenced to 78 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Johnson is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: Dayton Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Office, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and investigated by Dayton Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Office, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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